By Vicki L. Ruiz
As the 2016 annual meeting in Atlanta approaches, I would like to acknowledge the members of the Program Committee, the Presidential Subcommittee, the Local Arrangements Committee, and the AHA professional staff—all the individuals who have invested many hours of thought and labor in putting together this robust conference program. The theme “Global Migrations: Empires, Nations, and Neighbors” underscores the relevance of our work as scholars and educators. Indeed, in the shadow of Stone Mountain, the Thursday evening plenary “The Confederacy, Its Symbols, and the Politics of Public Culture” will feature such notable colleagues as Daina Ramey Berry, W.
William Cronon is Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and past president of the American Historical Association.
The American Historical Association has joined a group of individual distinguished historians in signing an amicus brief in US v. Windsor, a case before the Supreme Court contesting the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As is so often the case in legal contexts, the details can get lost in the swirl of broader issues and we want to clarify some important aspects of the AHA’s decision.
The discussion that follows is important to all historians: whether or not you teach U.S. history (or teach at all, for that matter), or work for a public institution, in Texas or elsewhere. This is not because the NAS report from which it springs is particularly compelling.
Tomorrow, Thursday, October 11, AHA President Barbara Weinstein will present a talk on "Academic Freedom in the Age of Homeland Security," at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s sixth annual Carrol L. Pauley Lecture.
AHA President Barbara Weinstein recently participated in a live, online discussion
about the difficulties experienced by foreign scholars seeking entry to the United States. Weinstein pointed to the various steps that the AHA and other academic organizations had taken in such individual cases as that of Waskar Ari (the Bolivian historian who could not take up a position at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln because his visa was cancelled by U.S. authorities), but declared that what was needed was more concerted, broad-based efforts by learned societies and college presidents.